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Bermuda International Gombey Festival Weekend

The Gombey Festival is an annual, family-friendly event celebrating the very best in Gombey culture. It provides a platform for local Gombey troupes to perform and display their craft and is an exciting opportunity for locals and visitors alike to enjoy the dance, music, and costume of the gombeys. In 2017, the event was extended into the Bermuda International Gombey Festival Weekend, providing a full weekend of Gombey-related activities that reflect on the diaspora of the Gombey culture.


There are usually multiple different gombey troupes domiciled in Bermuda, each displaying the Gombey art in a form that is recognisable to their fans and unique to the troupe.


Arguably one of Bermuda’s longest standing vessels of culture, many of the Gombey troupes we see today are the result of talents and traditions passed down through the generations. The Gombey art form is widely believed to be an amalgamation of African, British, and Native American traditions that emerged in the Caribbean and now bears a distinctly Bermudian flavour. There are similar related traditions in the Bahamas, St. Kitts, and other Caribbean islands, although the Bermuda Gombey was declared to be its own distinct Bermudian art form at a UNESCO Cultural and Conservation Conference in 1970.


Weekend Event Flyer


Thursday, October 5, 2017
“MASKulinity: Traditions of the Bermuda Gombey” Art Showcase Mingle
Location: Bermuda Society of Arts
Time: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Cost: Complimentary, donations to Bermuda Society of Arts greatly appreciated.
Details: Join us at Bermuda Society of Arts to view a collection of Gombey-inspired arts.
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Friday, October 6, 2017
“The Persistence of Tradition: Masking in West Africa, Haiti and Bermuda”
12th Annual Dr. Kenneth E. Robinson/Cyril Outerbridge Packwood Memorial Lecture
Speaker: Dr. Chika Okeke-Agulu, Associate Professor, Department of Art & Archaeology / Department of African American Studies, Princeton University
Location: Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute
Time: 7:00 PM
Cost: Complimentary tickets are available on and at the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs
Event Flyer (PDF)
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Saturday, October 7, 2017
Bermuda International Gombey Festival Showcase
Location: Bermuda Botanical Gardens, Main Show Ring
Time: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Cost: Complimentary
Details: Ayo! On October 7, all roads lead to the Bermuda Botanical Gardens for the Gombey Festival. Bring a blanket or chair and head to the hillside or bleachers to watch Bermuda’s 6 Gombey troupes display their passion and artistry in the annual Gombey Festival showcase, with special international guests. This year, we honour Terry "Termite" Simmons, while celebrating the best in Gombey culture past and present. Refreshments will be available for purchase.
Rain Date: Sunday, October 8, 2017
Event Flyer (PDF)
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Sunday, October 8, 2017
Bermuda National Trust Talk: The Bermuda Gombey - Origins and Evolution
Location: Verdmont
Time: 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Cost: $20 to members | $25 for non-members | $10 under 18 | Book online at | Phone 236-6483, or email for more information
Details: Join the Bermuda National Trust for an in-depth discussion on the origins and evolution of the Bermuda Gombey, hosted by Gary Phillips, chairman of the Bermuda National Gallery. Gary will be interviewing active leaders of Bermuda Gombey Troupes, diving deep into how the Bermuda Gombey has evolved, the diverse use of semiotics across the troupes as well as what it means to be a Gombey now.
Event Flyer (PDF)
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Sunday, October 8, 2017
Gombey Festival Weekend Sundowner

Location: Tobacco Bay
Time: 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Cost: Entry is free. Food and Beverage will be available for purchase from Tobacco Bay concession.
Details: Hosted by Tobacco Bay and sponsored in-part by the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, the Gombey Festival Weekend Sundowner is your chance to mingle with local Gombeys and overseas guests in a laid-back acoustic environment with sun loungers, ambient bonfire, and DJ.
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